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Twitter Space: Learning Loss
Welcome to this Symbaloo Twitter Space. Today we’ll be discussing the impact of learning loss due to the pandemic.
Today I have the pleasure of being joined by our Symbaloo Partner and STEM educator, Jillian Johnson & Instructional Coach, Blair Salmons. Thank you both for joining us today.
How did the pandemic and school closures affect students?
Jillian: I think there are differing opinions about the impact the pandemic has had on our students. But I can say, without certainty, that in a global crisis there are areas of emotional and relational detriments, and areas of amazing examples of resilience and resurgence of priorities that can be examined.
What can a school do to bridge some of the gaps caused by learning loss?
Blair: Developing an effective, relevant and engaging tutoring program for starters. Jill and Jenny Varvarigos at Wedgefield K-8 school were instrumental in providing support in ways that go beyond our typical tutoring programs in schools. Additionally, we tried to focus on what was going to get kids to show up and be excited about coming in an extra hour before or after school.
Has the digital/hybrid angle worked or not?
Both: Yes and no, depending on the child and teacher. Varying factors can contribute to the success or failure of digital learning. Home circumstances, tech accessibility and/or tech adaptability had an impact on what can be seen as working or not working. Clearly we had virtual options for students for two decades, at least in Florida, which started FLVS in 1997 and has morphed into even having options for students to do both in-person and online courses. So, I would say we had a decent grounding to start from, just not enough training and knowledge on the instructional side that could deem the digital/hybrid angle a complete success. But I can tell you the results of what has come out of it has been eye opening in terms of possibilities.
How do you suggest tackling the education challenges we face today?
Both: It is all about leveraging what we have to reach kids where they are. Focus on the big rocks, the pivotal skills that impact broader skills. There is speculation about the future and the impact on society this generation of students will have, but I would urge us all to remember that what we say about these kids, how we treat them, and what we hope for them, should never ever make our kids feel like they are a generation that has already lost.